Students have been getting creative this summer – and QPL has been sharing their stories on Facebook Live read-alouds. It’s all been a part of the Tell Your Tale: Share Your Stories Summer Reading initiative.
Through this program, a part of Imagine Your Story Summer Reading, students have responded to prompts with short creative writing pieces. Every Thursday at 5pm on Facebook Live selected pieces are read! We spoke to some of the parents of the students whose work was chosen.
Man Ha Chiu’s daughter Esther enjoyed making her own fiction story “The Three Lion Cubs and One Scary Monster” and was happy others could see her work. Esther believes QPL is a place where people can learn culture and gain knowledge.
Andrea Wright’s son Avery wrote “Ghost Peppers” and says writing the story was his favorite part of participating in Tell Your Tale. Andrea told us, “Queens Public Library has been a very big support for me and my husband. We currently and have in the past used the library to enhance so many aspects of Avery's life. As a todder we used Toddler Time to enhance his social and developmental skills. During his early learning years, we used the library to nurture and foster his independent reading skills. And now that he's in elementary school, we use the library to enhance Avery’s computer and test taking skills. Avery has also previously participated in the STACKS program through our local library. Overall, the QPL has been a key component in developing literacy and promoting art, reading, and organized play in our household.”
Ingrid Jackson-Nedd’s daughter Lauren was chosen twice for the program, once for the short story “Cherry Town” and once for a poem "Clean Streets.” Jackson-Nedd says QPL is “a resource of possibilities to grow and learn about different things that interest me.”
Gloria Suarez’s son Matthew was chosen for “Daniel’s Time Machine.” He loved having his work on Facebook Live because it gave him a lot of confidence about his writing skills. He says QPL is a great resource that provides services for his education and personal development.
It’s not too late to participate in Tell Your Tale! Kids in grades two to six can learn more and submit their stories here.
Read the selections from weeks July 6 – August 3 below! Watch all of these selections read aloud here.
"Clean Streets" by Lauren, IS59
If I were a superhero I would want to fly.
I would want to fly very high in the sky.
I would look down at my city every once in a while, and look at all the trash on the streets in one big pile.
I would use my powers of flying high in the sky to clean up the city,
And make it pretty.
I would grab the bad guys in the night that try and dirty my town,
And give them a big whack to make sure they are down.
When trash was found in peoples’ backyards, such as Mr. Bernard, I helped them remove their trash and sometimes I got a little cash.
I love to help with cleaning, because when I clean my heart is beaming. A true superhero would go above and beyond, to make the city sparkle and shine, therefore I shout ‘hooray hooray’ for the trash is confined.
"The Siren" by Iris, PS162Q
“W-Why’s there a person laying on the rock?”
The little girl pointed to a rock near the shore. When the mother saw it, she gasped in terror.
“It can’t be!” said the mother nervously.
“What can’t be, mother?”
The mother grabbed the little girl’s arm and ran away quickly.
When they arrived home, the girl, called Cindy, asked her mother who that girl was.
“Mother?” asked Cindy quietly, “why did we have to run away?”
“Dear, we must not go to the beach for quite a while,” said the mother, still trembling.
“But why, mother? You still haven’t told me yet!”
“Cindy, that girl you saw back there is a siren.”
The mother shook her head and started chewing on her nails.
“Now..I think you’re old enough to know about this,” said the mother at last. “In this world, there are good and bad. The mermaids you see are good; although there are some mermaids that are evil, most of them are good. The bad are the sirens and other sea creatures that kill humans for their existence. Now, the girl that you saw today is a siren. Sirens can kill you with their body and voice. They’re very, very dangerous creatures. They also sometimes use their voice to make some sailors fall in love with them. People say that there are some that are kind, but I’ve personally never seen one that was before..”
“B-But she was really pretty..”
“Cindy, all sirens are pretty. That’s also another way of how they make those sailors fall in love with them. Cindy, listen to me, this is very dangerous, and you can be killed if you ever go there again. Let’s not talk about this - I’ll start making dinner now.”
The next morning, Cindy quietly sneaked out of the house and went to the shore. She didn’t see the siren, so she waited patiently.
After waiting for a long time, she finally heard noises close by. It was the siren that she saw yesterday. Cindy ran towards the water and started staring at the siren. Cindy was admiring her beautiful looks and was still very curious about her.
“H-Hello,” said Cindy slowly, “Are you a siren?”
The siren looked up and stared at Cindy for a while, then finally spoke.
“May I help you?”
Cindy started to feel a bit more confident, and so, she spoke loudly.
“My mother said that you’re dangerous, so I’ve come today to actually find out, siren.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you,” said the Siren happily
After that, Cindy visited the siren every day. Whenever she met her, the siren was always singing, but somehow, it didn’t kill Cindy.
"Cherry Town" by Lauren, IS 59
Once upon a time, in a far island across Mickleberry Sea, there was a witch named Margarita. She wasn’t mean or scary, and clearly you could see, that she was as nice as a regular person. Witch Margarita had a house. It was wooden with steel bars to make pillars and rocks to make a pathway. Nobody had ever been to her house, as dogs and she herself were protecting it. Many strong and brave people tried to see the secret in Margarita’s house, but were always driven away by the dogs and Margarita's loud voice shouting, “Get away. Get away. I don’t really want you to stay!” Across from Mickleberry Sea was an Island called Cherry Town and the capital was Cherry. There was a man named Kael, who lived in a house with steel bars to make pillars and rocks to make a pathway. He was often bullied and beaten because people thought he was Margarita’s secret man to create havoc in Wine Town. Somehow, no one managed to get into his house. One day, Kael decided to meet Witch Margarita to talk about their current problem.
One week later, Kael and Margarita had gone to a garden to talk, leaving their houses to be left unguarded because they took their dogs with them. Before that, the people of the town planned to look into Kael and Margarita’s houses to see their secret. When the people of Margarita’s town went to her house, one of the people stumbled on the carpet. There was a button under the carpet and it opened up her bookshelf. The bookshelf was in the living room. Behind the bookshelf was a huge room with purple and yellow walls. There were different sections holding millions of animals. They thought she was a psychopath! But when Witch Margarita came back to her house, she explained she was going to give the little kids pets to take care of to practice their responsibility.
Kael was the last person to go home and the people at his house were surprised! One of the people at the house wandered into the kitchen and opened a side cabinet on the fridge. It was a blue cabinet with ice everywhere. The cabinet consisted of pounds of ice cream. He explains he was saving all the ice cream he had to give to kids in the summer when they are hot. When both people heard about the incident, they laughed. From then on there was a story told to generations to only judge people if you’re perfect. And we all know; we all make mistakes.
Excerpt from "Kumelexy" by John, PS/IS 178 Holliswood School
“There is no time! We have to go now! You are our only hope!” cried Blubli.
“Let’s go Thomas! Let’s have an adventure, a real adventure!” shouted Richard.
Blubli snapped his finger and blue smoke appeared, and suddenly they were in a magic place inside the grandmother’s house. The floor was like different color lava, but you didn't sink or get burned. The forest was magical, the leaves can shine like stars. You can hear the flowers, like birds. The sky is pink with three moons. On the way to see the Great Master, they can see the magical creatures. Some look like snakes with four legs, others are furry round creatures, also some creatures look like dinosaurs, big and small, some have two long necks, others have feathers, with fur, and some have colorful, bright scales. Richard’s jaw dropped to the ground, and still frozen. Thomas gasped with excitement and raised his eyebrows to the sky.
Wow, this is beautiful. thought Richard.
“This is the old book of wisdom, it was written many years ago, is a collection of many legends, in there is a legend that said, when evil rises, two redhead brave boys with kind and good in their hearts, will save our world with wisdom.” said Bonum.
When Richard saw the pictures in the book, his face was tight and butterflies knotted in his stomach. Thomas froze and his forehead wrinkled as he stared.
“Wait a minute! Those boys from the book, look just like us!” shouted Richard
“Oh boy, this is heavy” thought Thomas
“How is that possible!” How do you find us? shouted Richard
Bonum with a calm voice, started explaining to the boys about the legend in the book.
“Many years ago a group of Great Masters wrote their vision in this book, they study the stars, they can able to understand the stars, the Old Masters know
how to communicated with the stars and for hundreds of years all the Masters studied their vision and the legends in the book, and when Huldlemont became evil, we learned that that legend was true and we have to do something to stop him.” explained Bonum.
The boys were gasping, their bodies were shaking, they couldn’t believe what they were hearing. They freeze, stared at Bonum.
“Do you see my blue ring? The color in the stone is very important. When the masters that wear a ring keep the good heart, the stone on the ring is blue, but if the masters become evil the color in the stone changes to red. The eviler thinks the master does, the redder the stone will be. Only a Great Master with a good heart can have a blue ring like this. The ring has several powers, and one of them is to find the location who has good in their heart, and when you went to that basement, my ring shone more than ever. So I send Blubli to find you.” explain Bonum
“Oh Boy” thought Thomas.
“We need you; we wait a very long time for you. Huldlemont is very powerful now and he will not stop killing, he wants more power” said Bonum.
"Daniel's Time Machine" by Matthew, IS119
As Daniel was eating lunch, his dog started barking at him. It seemed urgent. Daniel got up and opened the screen door that led to his backyard. Sparky bolted outside, but when he finished eating, he saw that Sparky didn’t leave a mess at all. This time, he was barking louder than ever. He seemed to have been sniffing something in the ground. When Daniel gave it a closer look, he realized that it was metallic. The part that was visible from the surface had some ancient runes engraved into it. This was a relic. Dan immediately called a crew of archaeologists to investigate further. To think that the week after Daniel’s move into his new home would be so exciting! Days passed, and slowly but surely, the archaeologists uncovered a time machine!
One day, when Daniel went outside to see how the digging team was doing, he noticed that they had already finished. They had just gone and left behind the time machine on the lawn. Of course, Daniel was tempted. He went inside the metal box. It had many hinges, levers, and buttons, which Dan never dared press or pull. He read the words marked under each button and dial. They all said things like, “Future,” “Past,” or “Years”. There were many other things to press, but they were too small for Dan to care to read. He really just wanted to try the machine. With caution, Dan slowly brought his finger to the “Past” button. He always wanted to see Ancient Greece, so he pressed the “Past” button. “Ancient Greece was like, 80 million years ago, right?” Dan thought to himself. Assured that it was, he turned back the years knob until it reached 80M.
He suddenly felt some grumbling and rumbling all around him. Then, many lights flashed. Then, the machine stopped, and flung him in the air, a mile away. In a blink of an eye, Daniel was 80M years ago. However, he was nowhere near his time machine. “Wait,” Dan said aloud. “This isn’t Ancient Greece!” He looked around and saw a group of Stegosaurus’ grazing on grasses. “I’M IN THE DINO ERA!!” Daniel yelled. Suddenly, Dan saw his worst fears come to life. A giant T-Rex was rampaging towards him!! Dan stopped to think. He had a plan. He ran straight towards the T-Rex and ran straight under its legs. The T-Rex was behind him, and looking around. After a few minutes of running, Dan made it back to the time machine. Once he was home, he promised to himself that he would never use something without permission, and that he would never tell anyone about what was buried in his backyard.
"The Three Lion Cubs and One Scary Monster" by Esther, PS79
Once upon a time, there were three lion cubs who loved to play all day. When their parents said it was dinner time, the cubs had to cross a wooden bridge. The monster loved to eat gazelles, wolves, and especially lion cubs. The next day, the monster had gazelles for breakfast, wolves for lunch ......but no lion cubs. The next day, the monster had wolves for breakfast, gazelles for lunch, but still no lion cubs. That happened for a whole month. The next month, the monster tried something new. It tried zebras. He liked it, so the next month he had zebras for breakfast, wolves for lunch, but still no lion cubs. One day, the monster's wait was over. He saw the three lion cubs playing. It was almost dinner time for the lion cubs. When dinner time came, the monster went to the bridge and said, “I am going to eat you.” The lion cubs were scared. The biggest lion cubs said that we can defect the monster if we work together. They talked their plan out. “Two of us can distract the monster while the other lion cub runs across the bridge and goes to the other side.” They did this plan .......but when it was the oldest lion cub’s turn, the monster got him. The other lion cubs came to help. They punched the monster, kicked him and beat him up. The monster was tired and in pain. The lion cubs built another bridge. The next time it was dinner time, they crossed their new bridge
"Ghost Peppers" by Avery, Wheeler Elementary School
I woke up one night. I couldn’t stop falling. First, I fell through my bedroom floor; next, my living room floor. Then I began floating upwards towards my parents’ room. After touching both of them and possessing their bodies, my mom and dad awakened. I was once again myself - well, not myself but a ghost of myself. On his way to the bathroom, my dad stopped in my room. He didn’t see me. Dad began yelling, “Langston,” and I replied, “Right here.” Dad asked, “Where?” After screaming “I’m here dad” so loud that all of our potted plants broke into small pieces, we all realized that we had a problem. Beating my dad to it, I said, “Dad I think I’m a ghost.”
From that point onward, life became interesting. My parents fled our home because they were afraid of becoming ghosts, so I became fully independent at age eleven. I realized that being a ghost gave me so many abilities. One ability I had was to possess other people. This was helpful when my friends overslept for school: I’d take over their bodies and wake them up. I also helped out with carrying heavy things for people when they appeared to be struggling, and once in a while I used my power of invisibility to prank people.
Although no one could see me and I received a number of absences, I still attended school. It was hard to learn because I couldn’t hold a pencil to take notes, type on the computer, or sit down, but I still learned things. Most of my time was spent floating. On one particular day, I levitated my teacher’s car. She was headed for a pothole and I didn’t want her to get stuck, so it was Ghost Langston to the rescue.
As I began to miss my old life, I started to trace my steps back to how this had happened. I remembered that the night I had become a ghost I was playing a challenge with my friends - who could eat the most White Ghost Hot Peppers. I had won: I had eaten 57. Everyone was so impressed with me and they all gave me high-fives. But although I’d figured out how I had become a ghost, I didn’t know how to reverse it. Eventually, I learned to live with my new circumstances. Even though I missed my old life, I wanted to continue being able to ghost people. The world needed more ghosts and I was fortunate to have this power.
Photo: Andrea Wright and her son Avery, photo courtesy of Andrea Wright